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NCAA College Tournament

By Leah Ally

Volume 3 Issue 3

February 24, 2023

NCAA College Tournament

Image provided by ESPN

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, more commonly referred to as March Madness or NCAA March Madness, is a springtime single-elimination competition annually held in the United States to determine the national college basketball champion. There are 68 Division I college basketball teams, the National Collegiate Athletic Association represented in the tournament. Since its first competition in 1939, it has gained vast popularity and become one of the country's most-watched annual sporting events. The champion teams from three Division I conferences are among the tournament teams along with 36 other teams selected by a committee of the NCAA. A single elimination “bracket” made up of the 68 teams separated into four regions and predetermines which teams will play each other next. At the start of the tournament 4 teams are eliminated leaving 64 teams to be “seeded”, or ranked, from 1 to 16 within its region. Seven rounds of the tournament are played to determine the national champions. The locations are determined beforehand based on venue size, hotel and airport requirements, hosting frequency, and previous attendance numbers from the venue, While this annual sporting event has been televised since 1969, all games have not been accessible to be watched worldwide and across the country until 2011. With the increase in television coverage comes an increase in the tournament’s popularity. An average of 10.7 million viewers have tuned in to the last tournament in 2022. Even among non-sports fans, it has become extremely common in popular culture to predict each game’s outcome. Every year, bracket pool competitions are estimated to attract tens of millions of American s. The 2023 March Madness tournament will take place for three weeks from March 12th-April 8th. The competition will begin in Daytona, Ohio and will continue in Houston, Texas for the 2nd round. Out of all 68 teams participating in the competition the Houston Cougars are currently the favorites to win the NCAA tournament with North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and UCLA being close behind with 15/1 odds. Just this year alone, 45 million Americans (17% of American adults) are expected to wager $3.1 billion combined on the March Madness tournament.  

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